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Due to the coronavirus lockdown and work-from-home orders, some people have extra free time on their hands to focus on new projects — including haircuts and grooming. There are plenty of accessories that can keep you feeling freshly coiffed without leaving the house, but navigating products like body trimmers and beard trimmers online can be difficult. It's important to know your intentions because despite similarities between trimmers, it takes just one wrong shave to learn just how different these tools can be. With an abundance of shavers, razors, clippers and edgers, how do you know where to start? We spoke to hair stylists, barbers and experts to get some shopping tips that may help you find the best hair trimmer for your needs.
In this article
- What are the different types of hair trimmers?
- How to shop for men’s trimmer and other grooming devices
- Best stylish trimmer
What are the different types of hair trimmers?
The “hair trimmer” is a general term for trimmers that can be used on many parts of the body. But for one to be effective, you’ll want match different types of trimming blades with different hair textures, explains Tabb & Sparks co-owner Michael Sparks, a salon in Santa Monica, California.
Clippers are designed to cut larger chunks of hair quickly. They have a wider blade to cover more area all at once. That’s why Sergio Boy of Defined Culture Hair Studio in Orlando, Florida, recommends them for head or body trimming.
When it comes to facial grooming, a razor will give you the closest shave you can get. Since manual razors are smaller than most other grooming devices, they’re not only more travel-friendly but are also able to get the hardest-to-reach hairs. You’ll only need to buy the main handle once. Once its blade dulls with time, you can swap in a new cartridge. From Gillette to Dollar Shave Club, a variety of brands offer monthly delivery subscriptions for blade cartridge refills that arrive regularly at your doorstep.
The trimmer is an alternative for men who want that closer-feeling shave but tend to break out, explains Ivan Hairston, the CEO of ILLustrious Cuts in Chicago, Illinois. Trimmers still deliver a clean look but without getting as close, which helps avoid those razor bumps. However, that also means you can’t cut your hair as short and might require a new trim more frequently. Trimmers are typically more compact than clippers and often include specialized accessories. “They tend to offer more precise cutting and shaping options than a body groomer,” says Gina Rivera, founder of national chain Phenix Salon Suites.
When it comes to maintaining those sharp lines, an edger is what you’ll want. “Used before a shaver, the edger is perfect for creating shape on a jawline or cleaning the neckline on the back of a haircut,” says Boy, who advises caution. “The edger blade tends to snag or knick your skin in certain areas.
Finally, there’s the shaver, which Boy notes has “unfairly” received a bad rap but mostly because people don’t use it correctly. “Shavers are meant to be used on hair resembling stubble and not long hair, as many people seem to think,” he says. “Luckily, the everyday consumer has access to commonly used professional clippers, edgers and shavers that are used by hairstylists and barbers. These three tools will be the best investment you've ever made!”
Body trimmers and groomers
For manscaping needs, there are body trimmers or body groomers. These are designed to take care of more sensitive areas and are often equipped with blades that are easy to replace after a few uses, Hairston explains. Body groomers often come with comb-like attachments for trimming hard-to-reach areas, like the back. “Body groomers do a great job of preserving the skin when trimming hair, as well,” adds Rivera.
How to shop for men’s trimmer and other grooming devices
Once you narrow down the type of grooming trimmer you want, you'll need to look for some specific features. The experts we consulted recommend keeping a few things in mind as you shop for your trimmer:
- You always want something that’s lightweight
- If you prefer a cordless trimmer, find one with a strong battery life — Lithium-Ion batteries charge faster and run longer
- If you prefer a corded trimmer, find one that can reach all parts of your body
- A water-resistant model usually means a shorter battery but also a trimmer that’s easier to clean
- Stainless steel blades won’t rust and are ideal for wet shaving
- Carbon steel blades are stronger but more prone to rusting if used in the
- Titanium blades won’t rust as easily but are typically more expensive
Boy says a water-resistant shaver is his and every businessman’s “lifesaver," It will allow for dry use or for a quick shower shave. Boy also recommends options that come with a dock that not only charges the shaver but also sanitizes it, like Braun’s Clean & Charge station. This stand uses an alcohol-based system to disinfect and lubricate the blades while recharging the shaver.
Matrix Artistic Director Nick Stenson also agrees that a cordless feature isn’t where you should be most focused. “Get less hung up on battery life and focus more on ease-of-use, having the ability to offer multiple attachments for multiple uses,” says Stenson.
Best men’s trimmers and grooming products
When it comes to brands, our experts seem to agree on a big four: WAHL, Philips Norelco, BaByliss and Andis. “These brands are essentially the Nike, Adidas and Under Armour of the hair industry. They constantly put out quality and professional grade clippers, so you know you're getting a long lasting, sharp clipper,” says Boy.
Best cordless clipper: WAHL
1. Wahl Cordless Magic Clip (limited availability)
Most of the experts we consulted swoon over this cordless, professional-grade clipper with a 90-minute run time per charge. “This is one of my favorite cordless tools out now. It’s important to use a clipper with enough power to cut your facial hair consistently, but also one that’s light enough to be able to maneuver around your beard easily by hand, especially for coarser beards,” says Davide Marinelli of Davide Hair Studio NYC.
But for Boy, it’s the fact that this clipper lets him work efficiently, effectively, and precisely. “When it comes to a well rounded body, beard, and hair men’s grooming clipper, this is the best, hands down,” he says.
Best hybrid trimmer and shaver: Philips Norelco
The unique OneBlade shaver offers guys a blade for the face as well a skinguard for the body to trim, edge and shave. A fast-moving cutter combined with their dual protection system's glide coating and rounded tips allows for a comfortable and clean shave. The replaceable blade lasts up to four months and works for stubble as well as beards of any length. New blades can be found on Amazon or ordered directly from Philips Norelco with a discounted replacement plan and fit on all types of OneBlade handles.
Best beard trimmer: Andis
This T-blade, dry-shaver is easily Marinelli’s favorite tool for trimming and shaping. “Ask any barber for his or her favorite beard trimmer, and I bet they recommend Andis. That's because Andis gives serious hedge-trimming power,” says Marinelli. “If you prefer straight and clean lines along your beard and mustache, use this carbon steel T-trimmer.”
Best body groomer: Manscaped
When it’s time to get trimming body and groin hair, the Lawn Mower 3.0 covers all of your manscaping needs with an adjustable guide comb for different hair lengths and easy USB charging. “This is an all-around body trimmer that’s dedicated to below-the-waist usage. It’s waterproof and comes with a replaceable ceramic blade, which helps with hygiene,” says Hairston.
“This is my go-to for knick-free landscaping. It's great to clean your neck, armpits, back and anywhere a guy desires with confidence,” adds Marinelli.
Best all-in-one trimmer: Philips Norelco
5. Philips Norelco Multigroom 7000 (out of stock)
Whether you’re looking to clean up your head, body or face, this grooming kit could be all you need. With 23 attachments to cover all of all your trimming needs, this multipurpose tool has you covered. From the five-hour rechargeable battery to diverse attachments and guards, this stainless steel all-in-one trimmer comes with self-sharpening blades that last up to five years.
Best water-resistant shaver: Philips Norelco
Although this wet and dry electric shaver is more of a splurge, it’s SmartClean sanitizing charge station and close results make it worth the investment. With shaving heads that each independently move in eight directions, it gives increased closeness in a single pass. The rechargeable battery gives 60 minutes of run time and the power of a corded tool without being tied down. Plus, a facial cleansing brush attachment delivers a deep clean to help leave you feeling refreshed.
Best for facial hair newbies: Gillette
“Newbies, this is for you: I recommend you start with a smaller investment, in case you’re unsure of how long you will rock out your face fur,” says Marinelli. “For this, Gillette has an all-in-one detailer that can trim to four different lengths, or you can swap in a Fusion5 blade for a skin-tight shave that’s perfect for those neck and cheek trims. Bonus: it's waterproof.”
Best stylish trimmer: Bevel
The Bevel Rechargeable Hair and Beard Trimmer is on the higher end price-wise, but its innovative design might make it worth the price for you. The trimmer is powered by a rechargeable battery and can perform for hours on a single charge. It also equips what the brand calls a "Bevel Dial" that allows you to adjust the trimmer for a closer and more precise shave.